Schism Ch. 3 – Pt. 5: Poisoning Ourselves

Last Time: The third Business Meeting of 2011 continued as church members voiced their opinions on Deacon Dewey Holly not stepping down as Chairman of the Deacon Board following his Driving While Intoxicated charge.


October 8, 2011


With cooler heads prevailing again, my father took it upon himself to give his opinion on what Deacon Dewey Holly should do about stepping down as Chairman of the Deacon Board following his DWI charge. My father expressed his concern over Dcn. Holly’s mental, physical and spiritual health before suggesting Dcn. Holly should step down.

Before Dcn. Holly could respond, Sister Deborah Holly returned to a standing position so she could condemn us for not calling and checking on Dcn. Holly status after the accident, “If you supposed to be children of God, you would call and tell him, ‘I’m thinking about you and praying for you.’ People on the street will call and check on him, but not the church members. The thing I’m most upset about is the pastor and associate minister not calling Dewey. How you gonna preach to the people if you’re not doing what you’re supposed to be doing? There’s no compassion…. Y’all have to be real. This is not for real.”

When Sis. Holly returned to her seat, I took the opportunity to speak. I asked if Dcn. Holly had the decency to tell the church about his accident and ask for forgiveness. As I questioned Dcn. Holly about apologizing to the church, Trustee Allen White shook his head disappointingly.

I switched subjects to something that had been bothering me for a long time when I saw I wasn’t getting any answers from the Deacon Board. I noted the lack of respect for the Communion ceremony and how people are reading the Communion convenient as a promise to God, but not abiding by it because gossiping kept spread and grudges were still being held.

“It seems like we’re just poisoning ourselves,” I said, “and that’s why everything is like it is today.”

Several seconds passed without a response from anyone in the room outside of a few members nodding their heads to agree with me.

Dcn. Holly told the congregation that people taking the Communion improperly with stained hearts had no bearing on himself or the Deacon Board. In the same vein, he saw the DWI as a mistake that only he could account for and doesn’t have to be discussed by church members.

After Dcn. Holly and I took our seats to reopen the floor, Sister Coreen Richards – Deacon Bill Richards’ wife – explained her belief that the judgmental attitudes in the church body were skewed in favor of Pastor Cyrus Payton. Proof of this came when Sis. Richards and Pastor Payton had an incident that she refused to fully detail, but affirmed that Pastor Payton took something personal and made it public.

Like Sis. Holly, Sis. Richards questioned how we could judge someone like Dcn. Holly when our own pastor, “…is living wrong.”

Sister Josephine Elliot reminded like-minded people similar to Sis. Richards and Sis. Holly that this section of the meeting wasn’t about Pastor Payton not living in accordance to the Word, but what the Deacon Board planned to do with Dcn. Holly after he disgraced the name of the church by refusing to step down as a leader following his fall from grace.

Sis. Elliot remarked, “And another thing that really scares me is the whole Deacon Board sees nothing wrong with (Dcn. Holly’s DWI and not stepping down). You (Dcn. Holly) have to be held accountable for it.”

Before anyone could reply, Sis. Elliot revealed that certain deacons were sitting in the barbershop, “…talking about the pastor. Y’all keep talking about money. Y’all keep acting like you’re acting, there won’t be anymore church. Why? Because you have your little posse that’ll keep you in this church. And don’t lie. We all know what’s going on. I’m sorry, but I can not look up to someone like you all in the Deacon Board.”

Furious over the questioning of Dcn. Holly about stepping down following his arrest and DWI, Sister Ester Harris demanded everyone, “…to stop treatin’ (Dcn. Holly) like a dog!”

Deacon Samuel Travis echoed Dcn. Holly’s earlier sentiments about Pastor Cyrus Payton not warning the Deacon Board about the verbal “abuse” they were receiving today. Dcn. Travis claimed the congregation didn’t care about Dcn. Holly’s life and how we weren’t Christians because asking Dcn. Holly to step down wasn’t showing forgiveness.


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